You go into a seizure and your heart stops. I was diagnosed with RAS aged two and had it until I was 16.
Your eyes roll up in your head and your lips go blue, you go very pale and your body goes rigid. After, a chemical is released from your brain telling your heart to start beating again.
When a drink of juice went down the wrong way, that would set off a seizure. It would happen at the shops and the next thing, I'd wake up on the floor, thinking 'what happened?' You feel really lethargic afterwards.
It was frightening, especially as a young kid. My mum was extremely worried about me all the time. She knew there was nothing she could do but wait for me to breathe again.
When I was in primary six, the gym teacher got us to run backwards. I slipped and fell and the pain of that set me off, in a gym hall full of school mates. I became incontinent during that; it was really embarrassing.
I stopped having seizures from when I was seven till nine, but then they came back with a vengeance. There would be weeks when I wouldn't have one, then I would take two in one week.
Once, during a test in hospital, my heart stopped for 35 seconds.
I tried not to let it stop me doing anything that other kids did – I did dancing from when I was three – but as I was getting older and wanting to go out to nightclubs, my mum was worried sick. I knew that without a pacemaker, I wouldn't be able to do any of that, or drive.
I got my pacemaker fitted at 16 and I'm 26 now. The battery only lasts 10 years so I got a second one last year, and I've had no problems at all. I'm a bit squeamish; last night I was putting on moisturiser and I felt it move and felt 'eugh', but you don't see it, it's implanted under your arm.
How has it changed my life? I was able to work, as a care worker. I'm able to drive (I passed my test at 17), socialise and go to gym classes. I do sometimes feel the pacemaker kick in slightly. I just feel a wee flutter in my heart and take a few seconds to compose myself. It's given me a great life.
I work full time and stay in my own house in Glasgow with my partner, Paul, who is very supportive. The charity STARS, which helps folk with RAS and syncope [blackouts caused by lack of blood to the brain], have been really supportive of me all my life. I've been part of their support group since I was eight.
I think people should take irregular heart beat seriously. There are so many things that doctors and hospitals can do now, like monitoring an episode by sending you home with a 24-hour heart monitor. I would say definitely get it checked out.
Cardiac arrhythmia is when the heart beats too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. Arrhythmia Alliance is encouraging anyone experiencing palpitations, shortness of breath or feeling faint to complete the Heart Rhythm Checklist on their website, www.arrhythmiaalliance.org.uk